My name is Dave Hawkins and I have a really crazy background. My father is a Bible translator for an Indian tribe in S. America and my mother is a linguist and musician. She taught me to play hymns and classical. I’ve got some instructional hymn playing stuff HERE on Youtube. Classical HERE. Our family lived in a grass hut in the jungle for some time and this gave me a unique perspective on life. My parents life work is a remarkable story about which two books have been written, “Christ’s Witchdoctor” and “Christ’s Jungle.” My father says that his work was successful only because of the prayers of people motivated and informed to pray by his father, my grandfather, W.E. Hawkins, a Dallas/Ft Worth area radio evangelist who was honored by Dr. J. Vernon McGee in his commentary “Through the Bible.” Carrying on this tradition of united prayer is Rev. Oliver W. Price and his son, Bill Price (W.E. Price, named for my grandfather). Their organization is called “Bible Prayer Fellowship.” My parents also instilled respect for the Scriptures in me which was later deepened through the writings of Josh McDowell (Evidence that Demands a Verdict) and C.S. Lewis. I got an electrical engineering degree in 1986 because I love electronic gadgets but I was never a practicing engineer because that seemed boring. My engineering degree wasn’t wasted though (hold this thought). I flew jets and helicopters in the Air Force instead. It was much more exciting. Yes, I’m a guy who likes thrills. After the Air Force, I tried making a living in agriculture but failed, so I went into telecom and did well financially, but did not enjoy it – I wanted to live and work in the country and be self sufficient (living in a grass hut as a kid never got out of my system!) In 2008, I really caught Joel Salatin’s vision for “healing the land” and with it, healing many other things in our society. (Notice the reference about healing the land in II Chronicles 7:14) LINK HERE I came back from Joel’s 2008 Field Day quite inspired and I tried to get involved at that time. But my timing was not right and my knowledge incomplete so I had to wait. The vision has remained alive, however, and it only gets stronger and more clear as I study and write and wait for the right time. In March of 2011 at the prompting of my father and one of his great admirers, Jan Milton of Operation Renewed Hope, I returned to the jungle in S. America where I lived as a boy and visited a small village in Guyana called Masakenari 10 miles from my jungle home as a kid. This visit had a powerful impact on me. My father’s intent in urging me to go was to help the Wai Wai Indians with their agriculture. But I ended up realizing that many indigenous people groups like the Wai Wai actually have more to teach us about agriculture and food (and stress free living) than we have to teach them. In the last year, I have come to realize that Western Civilization has highly destructive and unsustainable agricultural practices (and other practices) and very unhealthy food. The writings of Mary Ann Shearer and Joel Fuhrman got me to change my diet to more natural foods in 2011 (mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts) and introduced me to fasting for health. Then Joel Fuhrman’s “Super Immunity” and Joel Salatin’s most recent books introduced me to the idea that disease is not caused by microbes directly, but rather it is caused by microbes subjected to wrong environments, thus they mutate and become virulent. Finally, Weston Price’s monumental study, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” (FREE ONLINE TEXT HERE) really helped me obtain a complete and balanced view of healthy food and how it relates to healthy agriculture, healthy bodies and healthy societies. This is critical because Food Philosophy drives Agricultural Practice and Policy. Or should. My view in a nutshell now is “Natural Food / Real Food = Good Health” whether it is grass fed meats, milk and eggs, fish, garden produce, fruits etc, and this applies to animals as well as humans. In 2013, I spent 6 months in an intensive internship studying what is called “Restoration Agriculture” (no it’s not about Mormons) and specifically Mob Grazing (Greg Judy, Allan Savory, Joel Salatin), which is an important “leg” of the “three-legged stool” of Restoration Agriculture, the other two “legs” being organic gardening (I like Paul Gautschi’s wood chip method) and Agro-Forestry (Mark Shepard). Other influences on my thinking include Henry David Thoreau on shelter and general simplicity (link here) and the great naturalist, Aldo Leopold who said …
“The most important characteristic of an organism is that capacity for internal self-renewal known as health. There are two organisms whose processes of self-renewal have been subjected to human interference and control. One of these is man himself (medicine and public health). The other is land (agriculture and conservation).” Link here.
These days, I spend every spare minute studying, writing, networking and experimenting in Permaculture (sort of a broad term which covers all of the above). My long term goal is to help convert dying cropland to “Perennial Polyculture Paradise” by “standing on the shoulders of the giants” mentioned. This is an enormous challenge and I believe will only happen in conjunction with a fundamental shift in how we live and how we think about subdivisions, farms and their relationship. In this regard I am fascinated with the work of Dr. Michael Sands and his “Building Communities With Farms” report (link here), Lee Foster and John Shreve with their “Prairie Commons” project in Olathe, KS, the “Glamping” movement, and the “Ecovillage / Earthship” movement. Allan Savory’s national policy level work in Zimbabwe reported on by Joel Salatin is also fascinating. I hope you enjoy my blog.